Attorney General Ellison sues to close Minn. fitness center that remained open despite COVID restrictions

Brandon Reiter, the owner of a gym in Plainview, Minn., plans to fight a lawsuit from Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison that seeks to shut the gym down.
Ellison announced Wednesday that his office has filed a lawsuit and sought a temporary restraining order to prohibit Plainview Wellness Center from remaining open to the public. Gov. Tim Walz ordered a four-week restriction of certain activities to halt the spread of COVID-19 that includes closing gyms and venues hosting indoor events until Dec. 19.
The attorney general’s office first reached out to the Wellness Center to educate its management of the Walz order. In response, management threatened to continue to operate and stay open to the public.
“This business is my livelihood,” Reiter said, according to the Associated Press. “I’m not going to go down without a fight as far as my business and providing for my family.”
Ellison’s office has worked with more than 100 businesses and events to gain compliance with restrictions to stem the spread of COVID-19. The Plainview Wellness Center lawsuit is only the third it has taken to court.
“Governor Walz has made the tough but smart choice to dial back activities that data have shown spread COVID-19,” Ellison said in a statement. “I know these requirements are hard on folks — but fortunately, the vast majority of people and businesses affected are making that sacrifice and complying with the order, because they know we’re all responsible for stopping the spread of COVID.”
More than 250,000 Americans and over 3,000 Minnesotans have died of COVID-19 thus far.
Ellison reminds Minnesotans that they can report COVID-19-related concerns or complaints either through the dedicated COVID-19 online complaint form on his office’s website or by calling his office at 651-296-3353 (metro area) or 800-657-3787 (Greater Minnesota).
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